Seminar in Individual Differences in Children's Thinking
To acquaint students with concepts, theories, and empirical findings related to individual differences in children's (and adults') intellectual performance. Students will be expected to integrate the findings from a variety of research areas and attain a general understanding of issues relating to the nature, origins, and stability of individual differences in children's cognition.
Seminar in Evolutionary Psychology
This seminar is intended to acquaint students with the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Concepts and principles of human evolution will be developed in the context of classic and contemporary issues in cognitive, developmental, personality, and social psychology. This course will introduce the key concepts, issues, and lines of research, but in each case students are expected to take an active role in discussing and developing the topic under consideration.
Seminar in Evolutionary Developmental Psychology
Examines the application of the basic principles of Darwinian evolution, particularly natural selection, to explain contemporary human development. It involves the study of the genetic and environmental mechanisms that underlie the universal development of social and cognitive competencies and the evolved epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. It assumes that not only are behaviors and cognitions that characterize adults the product of natural selection pressures operating over the course of evolution, but so also are characteristics of children's behaviors and minds.
Seminar in Cognitive Development
Focus is on a child's development in terms of information processing, conceptual resources, perceptual skill, language learning, and other aspects of brain development and cognitive psychology compared to an adult's point of view. In other words, cognitive development is the emergence of the ability to think and understand. There is overwhelming evidence from biological and behavioral sciences that from the earliest points in development, gene activity interacts with events and experiences in the environment. Another issue is how culture and social experience relate to developmental changes in thinking. Another question is phylogenic convergence or homology with non-human animals. Most aspects of learning and cognition are similar in humans and non-human animals. These issues propagate to nearly every aspect of cognitive development.
Theories of Child Development
Seminar in Language Acquisition
Foundations of Cognition for Education
Seminar in Social Development
Seminar in Memory Development
Developmental Psychology and Education
Evolution of Human Intelligence
Individual Differences in Cogntive Development
This course will provide an introduction to the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. We will consider a broad range of topics that have been addressed from an evolutionary perspective, including mating strategies, sexual jealousy, cheater detection, pregnancy sickness, parental nurturance and negligence, spatial memory, landscape preferences, and aggression and violence. Evolutionary psychology provides a new and often insightful perspective to all areas of psychology, with particular success so far in cognitive psychology, social psychology, personality psychology, developmental psychology, and linguistics, to name a few areas. We will address how evolutionary psychology sheds light on the phenomena traditionally studied in these areas.
Senior Honors Seminar
Most class meetings will be divided into two sections. Half of the class will be devoted to hearing the research presentation of one of the Department of Psychology's faculty members. The primary purpose of these presentations is to expose students to some of the research that faculty members are doing. This will also acquaint students who are planning to do an Honors Thesis with the faculty and permit them to select a faculty member to supervise their project. The second half of each class will be devoted to the discussion of a contemporary books.